I have a 1999 Toyota with about 50,000 miles. Toyota recommends replacing the timing belt at 90,000 miles or 72 months. I am now a few years past 72 months but well short of 90,000 miles? Is there really any need to replace the timing belt? Can it simply break by being old? Thanks
I would do it - risk of it breaking is not worth it.
Toyota gives you a time interval for a reason-things get old. Yes, a belt will certainly break from age. Change it.
Better to replace it now rather than have it break as you’re trying to beat the Amtrak train through the junction.
Any maintenance that gives both a miles and a time limit means which ever comes first. In this case not only does it mean it it MEANS it. You are living on borrowed time. When the belt does go it is going to cost you a whole lot more than just a new belt. BTW have the water pump replaced at the same time. I believe that on that car when that belt breaks, it can take the engine with it. At the very best, it will cause the engine to stop without warning.
Have you ever tried to use an old rubber band? They disintegrate. A similar idea applies to a timing belt.
“Is there really any need to replace the timing belt?”
Only if you want to continue to keep driving that vehicle.
On the other hand, if you are willing to risk being stranded and having to spend more on engine repair than the book value of the car, then by all means, keep driving it as-is. I know what I would do, but you can make your own decision after reading the responses.
So if you reverse your thinking . . . if you had 150,000 miles in only two years . . . you would risk it and question Toyota’s recommendation? Change it. Imagine that you are a runner and you’re about to run the Boston marathon . . . and you have a great pair of running shoes for the run which you haven’t used in several years, only a few miles on them but the laces are getting old and brittle. You get to the marathon, start to lace up your shoes and one lace breaks due to age . . . you lose the race because you can’t run properly, you waste all of your $$ getting to Boston, you lose face to your family and friends when you have to explain why you lost the race . . . because you thought you could get one more race out of the old laces. Change it . Now. Rocketman
Timing belts deteriorate with age. YES, replace it. Your Toyota has a very long life expectancy with the proper care specified in the owner’s manual.
Replace the belt. As Mr. Meacham said, and many others suggest, now is a good time to change out the water pump, too.